The Canadian Government has acquired a new vessel to serve the Saint John, New Brunswick to Digby, Nova Scotia ferry route.
The new ferry, called MV Blue Star Ithaki, has been purchased from a Greek ferry operator at a cost of around $31m. It will replace the existing vessel on the route, MV Princess of Acadia.
The government released a public notice for the purchase on 27 November last year and this fery was selected after evaluating the capacity requirements for the route.
Minister of Transport Lisa Raitt said: "Our government understands the importance of this ferry service to the local community and economy in support of regional trade and tourism.
"This replacement vessel will ensure the continued safe, reliable and efficient operation of the service while creating jobs and supporting the local economy."
Expected to start service in 2015, the vessel will be subjected to modifications to meet Canadian safety regulations and compatibility with the current shore-based infrastructure in the Bay of Fundy.
The roll-on / roll-off (RO-RO) passenger ferry vessel was built in 2000 by Daewoo Industries and will service at a cruising speed of 20k.
MV Blue Star Ithaki is 124m-long, 19m-wide is capable of carrying wheeled cargo such as automobiles, trucks, semi-trailer trucks, trailers and railroad cars.
Since 2006, the government has invested around $38m in supporting the Saint John-Digby ferry service, which is operated by Bay Ferries (BFL).
In July, the government announced $58m of funding for the ferry service between Wood Islands, Prince Edward Island and Caribou, Nova Scotia.
Image: The Canadian ferry vessel MV Princess of Acadia, which will be replaced by the MV Blue Star Ithaki. Photo: courtesy of Maddmaxstar.